3 May In the annals of espionage, one name towers above all others: that of H. A. R. ” Kim” Philby, the ringleader of the legendary Cambridge spies. 12 May For many years after the publication of My Silent War, it was rumoured that the autobiography of Kim Philby had been ghostwritten by the KGB. More thoughts on Kim Philby’s My Silent War The Young Kim Philby: Soviet Spy and British Intelligence Officer University of Exeter Press, Exeter, UK,
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My God, how I despise you now. But, of the five, it was Philby who did the most damage. One of the best things about this autobiography, aside from all the detail, is his vivid character descriptions: Sep 24, Pages Buy.
This was a very solid and engaging memoir. It’s a cold book and I couldn’t help thinking that Philby’s greatest crime was taking it all too seriously “‘He betrayed his country’ — yes, perhaps he did, but who among us has not committed treason to something or someone more important than a country?
Click here to see more Tap here to see more Tap here to see more. May 30, Serhii Khalymon rated it really liked it.
In fact if you deleted three or four sentences you wouldn’t know he was working for anyone but the UK government. Especially a particularly lucid paragraph about why he endured in his secret, yet total, commitment to communism “even when it became slent things were going badly wrong” in the Soviet Union, and his view that the USSR was the “inner fortress of the movement” and must be defended at pnilby costs.
What drove him to take his collegiate infatuation with the Soviet Union and turn it into a lifetime of treachery? Their first three children, Phhilby, John and Tommy Philby, were born between and But he also says practically nothing of his motivations. Philby supposedly tipped Maclean and Burgess off, thereby bringing suspicion upon himself.
My Silent War by Kim Philby |
It is essential to fight of the little jabs of distaste that Philby inspires as one traverses the pages. He spends a fair amount of time discussing his interrogations and his bouts with the media once he came under suspicion but does not provide underlying reasons for his treason other than his motivation was not money.
And here she was plunked down in my midst! Written, as it is, from the perspective of an extant and ascendant Soviet Union, it does This first hand source is an exciting read for Cold War enthusiasts, although should be entered into advisedly. Prior to his flight to Moscow inPhilby had risen to head the Soviet desk at MI6, the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, and was on course to become its director, before doubts about his activities led him to be exiled as a journalist in Beirut.
What made this quintessential Brahman dedicate his life to the workers’ paradise which seemed so alien to his personality and background?
My Silent War: The Autobiography of a Spy
An abundance of official relationships to individuals who are no longer prominent and laying out the organization of early British espionage via acronyms can make reading wzr little confusing but a guide at the front for the latter does help. Retrieved 5 July That said, Philby comes across as arrogant and condescending in his writings, and the book suffers because of it.
To ask other readers questions about My Silent Warplease sign up. On 12 DecemberAileen Philby was discovered dead in the bedroom of her house in Crowborough. In she returned to Maclean. He takes great joy in pointing out how ineffectual the services were and how most agents spent huge amounts of time receiving generous salaries for doing nothing. At the same time, Burgess was trying to get her into MI6.
Following Eleanor’s divorce, the two married  in January Aileen Philby resented him and disliked his presence; Americans were offended by his “natural superciliousness” and “utter contempt for the whole pyramid of values, attitudes, and courtesies of the American way of life. We little lttle of what he accomplished for his overt British employers, and almost nothing about what he did for his covert Soviet employers. This first hand source is an exciting read for Cold War enthusiasts, although should be entered into advisedly.
A detailed but short account of Philby’s career in British intelligence albeit as a Soviet agent My Silent War is not ‘tell-all’ but it is a fascinating read nonetheless. Fromthey infiltrated the southern mountains to build support for former King Zog. Yes, but not many of us have worked with a government to deprive individuals of their life or liberty. Philby’s Russian was never good and he soon took a job at a monthly magazine, the World Review of Reviewsfor which he wrote articles and letters sometimes under pseudonyms and occasionally served as acting editor.
Both services were interested in the combat performance of the new Messerschmitt Bf s and Panzer I and IIs deployed with Nationalist forces in Spain. I had heard of Philby before and was expecting a much more interesting story with a lot of intrigue and adventure. Otherwise the man was wise to leave the post-spy literary career to Graham Greene.
In early MayBurgess got three speeding tickets in a single day — then pleaded diplomatic immunity, causing philbj official complaint to ky made to the British Ambassador. Soviet defectors to the west “commit suicide” with sklent regularity, and Philby without apparent raising of an eyebrow, comments only on how they must have been dissatisfied with the realities of capitalist life. They had already been down to the Embassy but being unable to work had come back.
Jan 25, Charles kom it did not like it. This statement was underlined twice in red and marked with two question marks by disbelieving staff at Moscow Central in the Lubyankaaccording to Genrikh Borovik, who saw the telegrams much later in the KGB archives. Thanks for telling us about the problem.